Goodyear and De Klok Banden have reached an agreement to increase the Dutch wholesale group’s control over parallel imports, also known as “grey market” tyres. In a statement delivered exclusively to Tyrepress.com and its sister websites in the EU, Goodyear affirmed its resolve to tackle “illegal (grey) tyre imports” using “legal actions”. The manufacturer says it has already taken legal action against a number of European market distributors. It asserts its right to control imports to the European Union from external markets, including, as of 1 January 2021, the UK under trademark or other legal rights. The full statement reads: “Goodyear announced today that it has reached an agreement with De Klok Banden B.V., S & H Tires B.V and their affiliated companies to resolve a parallel import case between the two groups. The agreement resolves the pending trademark infringement claim initiated in Q3 2020 by Goodyear following seizure of tyres often referred to as grey market imports.
Finnish prosecutors have decided to press charges against six former members of the Nokian Tyres plc board as well as past president & chief executive officer Ari Lehtoranta; all were associated with the company in the period between 2015 and 2016. It additionally intends to impose a corporate fine upon the company, to a maximum of 850,000 euros. The prosecutor has also decided to press charges for suspected abuse of insider information against four persons who were employees of Nokian Tyres in 2015. In a statement supplied to Nasdaq Helsinki yesterday, Nokian Tyres stresses that “all persons charged deny their involvement in any criminal activity”
On 29 June Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone) announced that it won a long-running trademark and trade dress infringement lawsuit against Brazilian retread company New Tyre Remoldadora De Pneus (New Tyre), in the São Paulo Court of Appeals.
Goodyear management has been convicted by the Amiens court for the unfair dismissal of 832 of its former employees. The manufacturer’s factory in Amiens Nord, France, which specialised in the production of agricultural tyres, closed in January 2014. The closure brought to an end a six-year stalemate between staff and management, with the loss of 1,143 jobs. The Thursday May 28 judgement saw the court ask for the provisional execution of the sentence, as requested by the employee’s lawyer, Fiodor Rilov. The amount of damages to be paid is not yet available. Goodyear management has indicated that it has taken note of the ruling, adding that it reserves “the right to appeal.”
Following initial claims earlier this year, a group of former shareholders and directors of retreader and commercial vehicle tyre supplier Vaculug have denied that financial accounts were manipulated ahead of its sale to Grantham Capital and launched their own legal action against the new owner.
On 14 February 2020, Schrader was found to have contributed to and induced infringement of Wasica Finance GmbH and BlueArc Finance AG’s 524 patent. The patent relates to tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) technology. As a result, the claimants were awarded US$31.2 million in royalty damages.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, according to Oscar Wilde. But businesses don’t tend to be so charitable in their interpretation of such actions. Indeed, industrial counterfeiting, copyright breaches and general contempt for intellectual property are all-too common. The most recent example of copyright dispute in the tyre industry saw one of the world’s largest and longest established tyremakers pitted against a relative unknown.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency has reported the indictment of Cho Hyun-bum, chief executive of tyre maker Hankook Tire & Technology. According to Yonhap, prosecutors said yesterday that Cho was indicted for accepting bribes and embezzling corporate funds.
Manchester Crown Court cleared five current and past directors and managers of Klarius Products Ltd of charges of selling non-typed approved catalytic converters on 3 December. The case, which was brought by the DVSA, had alleged that between 01/02/2013 and 30/08/2015 the business of Klarius Products Ltd, carried on for fraudulent purposes, the marketing, distribution and sale of counterfeit and non-type approved catalytic converters.
Hankook Tire chief executive Cho Hyun-bum was arrested in Seoul on allegations including bribery and embezzlement on Thursday 21 November 2019, according to local news sources including The Korea Times and Reuters.